Entertaining At Home Sets Retail On Fire
An interesting thing has happened for retailers. The pandemic has certainly affected consumer behaviour mid- or shortly post-pandemic, but it’s also left a hangover that should last at least two more years, according to Angus McDonald, chief executive of Barbeques Galore.
Like Bunnings, Mitre 10, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, Barbeques Galore is retailer that has benefited from the pandemic as consumers spent more time dining and entertaining at home. The result was record growth, with about $60 billion being redirected towards the hardware and homewares retail sectors, instead of being spent on international travel, events, services and other expenses related to going out.
McDonald believes these trends will continue for some time yet. There’s another element that bolsters this new-found super strength in sales, and that’s new home approvals. This mini-boom is expected to underpin continued sales growth for home-related retail.
While demand in some sectors, such as furniture and electronics, has started to taper off after record gains in the September quarter, Barbeques Galore’s same-store sales rose “well in excess” of 20 per cent in the March quarter and were up more than 20 per cent in the financial year to date.
McDonald commented to the Australian Financial Review, saying: “Even though we should expect some things will normalise in discretionary retail spending, there are a number of trends that will continue well beyond the immediate situation around COVID to create a favourable environment for our category.”